In Translation: Wael Kandil on the Emergency Law

I’m happy to announce a new regular feature on this site. Every week, we will select an article from the Arabic press, translate it and bring it to you with a short analytical introduction. The idea is to give readers an idea of the debate in the Arabic papers over issues of the day, and provide some wider context. We’ve done some of this in the past, but generally do the translation of more than a few lines ourselves — we’re simply too busy. What we’ll be doing here is bringing you full-length, unabridged articles — so we needed outside help.

Translation for this feature will be provided courtesy of Industry Arabic, a  full-service translation company founded by two longtime Arabist readers, which specializes in English-Arabic-French technical, legal, and engineering translation management services.

For the first item in the series, we’re looking at the debate over the Emergency Law in Egypt. Since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) began to make increased use of the Emergency Law after September 9 protests (at the Israeli embassy and several ministry of interior facilities). This was controversial in itself, but a legal debate soon emerged: it was generally understood that the Emergency Law would lapse at the end of September, according to the Constitutional Declaration approved in March that states it will last six months. Several scholars have confirmed this interpretation, but the SCAF now counters that since Mubarak and the previous parliament had extended the Emergency Law till May 2012, it would be effective until then.

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The Emergency Law needs to go

"No To Emergency"

Tomorrow is is set to be the "Friday of Deafening Silence," the latest in "million-man" protests to take place since Hosni Mubarak was deposed on February 11. Yes, it's a silly name. But this could be one of the more important protests that has taken place in a while.

Unfortunately, the picture has been muddied by last week's break-in at the Israeli embassy and the raids on interior ministry facilities, which are in part reported to have been attempts at destroying criminal records, etc. Considering the rather surprising reaction to the embassy incident — almost unanimous condemnation by political parties, activist groups, media figures, etc. including many Islamists of the embassy break-in and the other events of the day —  the current atmosphere is somewhat confused. On the one hand, last week's incidents have really driven home the need (and perhaps even more importantly, the public's desire) for greater order, and the difficult task of simultaneously empowering the ministry of interior to do its job and reforming it. 

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Links for 2 December

Automatically posted links for November 30th through December 2nd:
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